Golf Digest Issue 8, 2021

Golf Digest empowers the modern golfer, delivering monthly content on how, what and where to play. Golf Digest provides "how-to" articles by an unparalleled team of the game's top professionals, the most in-depth equipment rankings, the Hot List and is the No. 1 authority for golf course rankings.

United States
Conde Nast US

in this issue

3 min
inside our photo shoot for #juplife

The scene is one you might encounter on any night out in Jupiter. IN AN INSTA-CLICK WORLD it’s easy to forget how much effort can still go into a single image. This month photographer Ryan Schude didn’t capture so much as create the tableau vivant that opens Golf Digest Writer-at-Large Alan Shipnuck’s feature on how Jupiter, Fla., became the hometown of professional golf. The set, or canvas, was the upstairs members lounge of 1000 NORTH, the emergent social hot spot where Shipnuck followed his reporting. (Many trails lead to this sanctum of leather furniture and libation overlooking the town’s lighthouse. Co-owners Michael Jordan and Ira Fenton tried but couldn’t think of a better name than the physical address.) Under Schude’s direction, 13 subjects became actors, including three guys with four majors apiece,…

4 min
sage words from a longtime resort looper

I’VE BEEN A CADDIE for nearly 20 years, with stints at some of the world’s best resorts. Although I’m not big on soapboxing, a lot of you could use some friendly advice. Before I tell you what you get wrong, let me start by telling you what you get right: You tip well. You’re generous about asking if I’d like a dog and a drink at the turn. It’s impossible to count how many players, many of whom I had for just 18 holes, send me cards and gifts during the holidays. Overall, you’re a good group, but you lack self awareness. Here are some things to work on: You’re too slow. Perhaps not too surprising but it seems like half of my job is prodding a group like sheep to…

5 min
it took 11 years, but i finally made it

JARED WOLFE PGA TOUR AGE 33 BORN LOUISVILLE, BUT LIVES IN PONTE VEDRA BEACH ‘I chipped in with whatever I won playing and from driving Uber.’ I’m 33, not the youngest PGA Tour rookie. I can’t play as many weeks in a row as the younger guys. I applaud the heck out of them. They deserve everything they’ve got, but I don’t know if they’ve felt a lot of defeat. When I have a five-or six-week stretch where things don’t go well, I don’t panic. I’ve been playing professionally for 11 years. There isn’t a lot I haven’t seen. I grew up in Louisville playing public courses with my dad and granddad. At my first high school practice, I pulled a ball out of my pocket to putt with that was different from the one I’d…

3 min
how to use data to set realistic expectations

Most amateurs have a distorted view of how good they are. I FINISHED LAST in putting at the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. This was during my playing days when I could be rather headstrong on the golf course. The smallest disturbance would set me off. I’d fire at flags and try to jam putts in the hole like a poker player on tilt. After I stopped playing professionally, I decided to rededicate myself to competitive amateur golf with a more measured approach. This time, I decided to use my background in advanced mathematics to analyze data from TrackMan and the new strokes gained statistic, created by Mark Broadie, to turn course strategy into a set of unemotional decisions. I was determined to not repeat the mistakes of my youth. I created…

6 min
evaluating the work of gil hanse

The kings of golf is a concept that goes back to the Emperor Jones, the name used by newspapers in the 1920s for Bobby Jones. Sort of like the modern GOAT, it signified who was recognized as the reigning champion of the world. It often extended past their winning championships because it mixed popular acclaim with major achievement. Arnold Palmer was king even after he stopped winning, then it was Jack Nicklaus, followed chronologically by Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and, of course, Tiger Woods. Popular as he might be, Phil Mickelson was a prince at best; Rory McIlroy reached the top for a moment, but today there doesn’t seem to be one player who wears the undisputed crown. Tiger still rules. Among women, Mickey Wright was queen, then…

4 min
the greatest stretch of major-championship golf i’ve seen

IN AUGUST 2020, amid that difficult period when golf was played without fans and the world was at a low ebb because of COVID-19, I had a revelation about the ensuing 11 months I couldn’t keep to myself. On the eve of the PGA Championship at Harding Park, during a CBS media conference call, I proclaimed, “We are about to enter the greatest stretch of golf in major-championship history.” Part of my reasoning came down to just math—because of postponements and rescheduling, an unprecedented seven majors would be contested in less than a year, this coming after a stretch when no majors were played in 13 months. At least one prominent golf writer thought the prediction hyperbolic, but what followed delivered on my promise, and in an age when we are…